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Unaltered soil microbial community composition, but decreased metabolic activity in a semi-arid grassland after two years of passive experimental warming

Citation

Fang, Chao (2021), Unaltered soil microbial community composition, but decreased metabolic activity in a semi-arid grassland after two years of passive experimental warming, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.ffbg79cs9

Abstract

Soil microbial communities regulate soil carbon feedbacks to climate warming through microbial respiration (i.e. metabolic rate). A thorough understanding of the responses of composition, biomass and metabolic rate of soil microbial community to warming is crucial to predict soil carbon stocks in a future warmer climate. Therefore, we conducted a field manipulative experiment in a semi-arid grassland on the Loess Plateau of China to evaluate the responses of the soil microbial community to increased temperature from April 2015 to December 2017. Soil temperature was 2.0 oC higher relative to the ambient when open-top chambers (OTCs) were used. Warming did not affect microbial biomass or the composition of microbial functional groups. However, warming significantly decreased microbial respiration, directly resulting from soil pH decrease driven by the co-mediation of aboveground biomass increase, inorganic nitrogen increase and moisture decrease. These findings highlight that the soil microbial community structure of semi-arid grasslands resisted the short-term warming by 2 oC, although its metabolic rate declined.

Methods

Manipulative Experiment

Funding

National Natural Science Foundation of China, Award: 31570467

National Natural Science Foundation of China, Award: 31770480

The Chinese Scholarship Council Joint PhD Scholarship, Award: CSC NO. 201706180033

The Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities, Award: LZUJBKY-2019-KB36

The Startup Foundation for Introducing Talent of NUIST, Award: 20191059

Methusalem Programme 2016 ‘Global Ecosystem Functioning and Interactions with Global Change’, Award: n° YGS2.1.0.0

The Chinese Scholarship Council Joint PhD Scholarship, Award: CSC NO. 201706180033

The Startup Foundation for Introducing Talent of NUIST, Award: 20191059